Marching Ensemble Ranks Second in the Nation

By F. Branson
November 20, 2019

For the second year in a row, the James Madison HS Marching Ensemble has won the Virginia Marching Band Cooperative State (VMBC) Championship.  The theme of this year’s performance is Dusk ‘till Dawn, utilizing music, color guard costumes, stage make-up, props and scenic backdrops to perform a show that earned a first place rating in all three categories of music, general effect and visual at the VMBC competition the first weekend of November.

Preparation for this competition began on August 5, the first day of summer band camp. Throughout the fall, the 150 member ensemble participated in a rigorous competition season, while also performing for the local community at home football games, in the Homecoming Parade and the Vienna Halloween Parade.  The ensemble started the competition by winning the regional VMCB competition in September, hosted by Herndon High School.

In the first weekend of October, the ensemble made history by earning the school’s first-ever Band of America Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship title. This regional competition held in College Park, Maryland, hosts bands from local states and has not been won by a Virginia school in over 30 years. The BOA Regional Championship title earned the ensemble another distinction, an invitation to participate in the 2019 BOA Grand National Competition in Indianapolis. The marching ensemble, known as the Pride of Vienna, traveled to Indianapolis November 14-16 and continued to break school and state records. The ensemble advanced to the semi-finals at the national competition, an accomplishment no other FCPS school can claim. After the semi-final competition, the band was awarded the second highest score in the nation, in their class. Madison was the only high school in the commonwealth of VA to earn such a distinction. 

A portion of the award- winning show can be viewed here.  For any questions, contact the director of the Marching Ensemble, Michael Hackbarth at @email